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Can Caffeine Actually Make You Sleepy?

A woman falls asleep while holding a cup of coffee in front of a computer.
Kateryna Onyshchuk/Shutterstock.com

For the majority of Americans, a morning cup of coffee is the perfect jump-start to the day. Some of us even enjoy an energy drink in the afternoon. But can caffeine make you sleepy?

It turns out that, in some cases, you can remain sleepy even after having caffeine.

While caffeine typically gives you a boost of energy, some factors commonly get in the way. Lack of sleep, developing a caffeine tolerance, and dehydration can all lead to you feeling tired despite your cup of joe.

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While caffeine typically does give you a dose of energy, these effects can’t replace lost sleep. If you’re regularly not getting the amount of sleep you need, then a cup of coffee or energy drink won’t make much of a difference for you.

Also, if you drink so much caffeine that you develop a tolerance to it, it’s normal to not feel energized after drinking caffeinated beverages. Essentially, caffeine no longer has the pick-me-up effect that it once did and you still feel drowsy.

It’s also worth noting that drinking only coffee (and not drinking enough water) can lead to dehydration, which promotes tiredness as well.

So if you want to feel the energy boost from caffeine, make sure you’re getting enough sleep, limiting your caffeine intake, and drinking enough water.

Abbey Ryan Abbey Ryan
Abbey Ryan is a storyteller, preferably of stories in written form. Across the 5 years of her professional writing career, her work has been featured in The Chicago Tribune, Amazon, The Medical News Today, and more. When she's not writing (which is rare), she's likely traveling, painting, or on the hunt for a good snack. Read Full Bio »
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